Napa/Sonoma Getaway Day 2

And we’re back with Day 2 of the Napa/Sonoma Getaway Trip! Huzzah! If you missed Day 1, you can read that post here. Looking back at these photos just makes me smile. Also the wine was ON POINT Day 2 so I’m excited to share that with you as well.

Yesterday, I talked a little bit about doing a wine tasting trip on a budget which is TOTALLY possible, especially in Sonoma where the tastings are less expensive (and in my humble opinion, the wine is better). So today, we are in Sonoma where we enjoyed each of these tastings for around $15 which I found to be very reasonably priced. We initially wanted to share because we were driving a rental car around Northern Cali, but we actually found that there was more than plenty of wine in one tasting for us and it allowed us to visit more places and experience more wines. After 4 winery tastings we were both happy, but not really wanting more wine (which is quite shocking for us). So all that said, share away! **PS: Check out Fox Rental Car. We had a car for 4 days and 3 nights for only $73!!!

Let’s get started! First stop of Day 1 was…….

SAINT FRANCIS WINERY

Out of everywhere we went, this was by far our favorite winery. The grounds were beautiful, the service was fantastic, and after tasting 9 different wines, there wasn’t one we didn’t like. We really, really felt that the wine was beautifully done, both young and vintage. We tend to prefer younger wines and their 2014 Pinot and Cab were both so good. I love sauvignon blanc and they make a beautiful one that is fresh without being to citrusy. And their rose! So good! Neither of us particularly love Chardonnay and we even thought that of all things was fantastic. Highly, highly recommend. Like so highly. $15 TASTING

Also, Saint Francis has a wine and food pairing in the late morning and early afternoon that is supposed to be absolutely incredible. We want to do it next time after falling in love with their vino!

PS: We did our tasting at the bar and found that the places where we stood at the bar and didn’t sit down that they will start talking to you and pour you other wines that aren’t on the tasting menu as well. If you’re wanting to sit down and relax on a beautiful day outside, go for it, but know that the tasting prices are often more when you get a table. 
 KUNDE FAMILY WINERY

The Kunde Family Winery had lovely wines. I really enjoyed the variety of things we tasted. The two of us are super nerdy and want to learn and talk details about every wine we taste and our server didn’t have as much time to chat with us as he was busying around with other customers, but that was our only complaint. Definitely pay them a visit! $15 TASTINGMATANZAS CREEK WINERY

We also really enjoyed Matanzas Creek, especially the cheese board! Get one of those for sure 🙂 Their tasting was wonderful, but the servers were really just there to pour and not chat. Again, Michael and I wanted to nerd out and annoy them 🙂 Normal people probably prefer to drink wine in peace! We are weird. TASTING: $15  COPPOLA

We couldn’t resist going to a big name! The employees at Coppola were extremely nice, knowledgable, and proud of their wines. We thought they were good, but didn’t walk away raving about anything specific although our experience was great. There were also some really cool pieces inside their winery from movie sets. We dud the Sonoma Inclusive Flight. $20 TASTING 

CA’BIANCA

We decided to do a fun dance dinner one night and went to Ca’Bianca which is a quaint Italian Restaurant located in a historic home. It was a little bit of a drive, but so very charming. We ordered a delicious arugula salad with prosciutto and parmesan and it was so, so delicious. I ordered the filet and Michael ordered the Ossobucco and the film was the fan favorite from us! Definitely pay this place a visit for a romantic evening out! Alright, that’s a wrap of Day 2. See you guys tomorrow for Day 3 and a recap of the 5 places you have to go on your weekend getaway to the Napa/Sonoma area! TOP (similar HERE)| SKIRT (similar HERE, HERE, & HERE)| BOOTIES (similar HERE and HERE

This was one of my favorite outfits from the whole trip. I’ve had a lot of good luck lately with both Express and Nordstrom Rack and I’ve been ordering online from both! The specific pieces I’m wearing sadly sold out so quick (v v sorry), but I linked some similar options above. I’m really into all of the ruffles right now (plz don’t go out of style for a while) and I like the feminine touch they add to a plaid skirt! Alright I’m off to drink a glass of vino 🙂 Cheers!

 

Napa/Sonoma Weekend Getaway Day 1

Happy Tuesday all! I’m sitting here drinking a very large cup of coffee as I write this post and wishing we were back in Northern California drinking champagne instead! Michael and I spent some time in Napa and Sonoma this last weekend for a little getaway and it was so so nice to spend some time just the two of us. Our married life has been such a roller coaster with multiple moves, jobs, and various large life events and to speak honestly, it has really taken a toll on the two of us. It was so refreshing to just peace out, get away from the real world, and spend time focussing on why we love each other so much. Spending intentional time together is huge for our connection with each other. We haven’t laughed like we did this last weekend in a long, long time.I wanted to share with you what we did while we were gone! If you and your sweetie are looking for a quick getaway, Napa is a great place to go. Sadly, because of all the fires there, flights are extremely inexpensive so it’s a great time to snatch up a ticket. We noticed that a lot of the hotels were sadly burned down so we would recommend finding an Air B&B or a hotel just out of town like we did as prices are a bit higher with a fewer amount of places to stay right now.For those of you wondering, the fires are all over now so it is completely safe to go. This is the biggest tourist season in Napa and Sonoma and everyone cancelled their trips due to the chaos going on there so the wineries are desperate for visitors! Normally, most of the smaller wineries require bookings for tastings, but we were able to walk in anywhere we visited without a reservation.We spent 3 full days and visited 4 wineries each day. Our visits were all over the map from sparking to still wines and big commercial vineyards to much smaller mom and pop establishments.

One of the things we also noted were tasting prices. Napa is MUCH more expensive than Sonoma and it has a commercial vibe while Sonoma feels more casual. If you’re on a budget, focus your time on Sonoma because you can absolutely do a fabulous wine tasting trip on a budget! We went to a handful of places that were only $15 a tasting in Sonoma.

PRO TIP: Many people don’t know that it is actually quite socially appropriate to share a tasting in Napa or Sonoma. People do it all the time and we chose to do that ourselves since we were driving a rental car. Highly recommend this route as they often give you large pours and extra tastings. There was more than enough to go around between the two of us!

SO, we started off Friday evening with dinner at dear friend’s house who lives in San Francisco and then we drove to Napa Saturday morning. And stopped for bagels obviously. It was a super dreary day on the Golden Gate Bridge, but turned to sunny beautifulness once we entered Napa Valley! Here’s where we went day 1, what we tasted, and our favorites from the day!  We started out at DOMAINE CARNEROS where they specializes in champagne and pinot noir grapes….basically my two favorite things nbd. We chose to do the Grande Tasting which showcased some of their reserve wines. Michael loved the Brut and I loved the Blanc de Blancs, but I was truly a big fan of both. They were really lovely. The Famous Gate Pinot Noir was really nice as well (far right). This winery was in our top 5 favorites of the 14 places we tasted at and I would highly recommend going here. Also, THOSE VIEWS. TASTING $40 ($30 options).

From Domaine Carneros, we headed to Mustard’s for some lunch. They had a little bit of a wait though, so we hopped over next-door to CONSENTINO WINERY AND TASTING ROOM for a tasting. We were not the hugest fans of CONSENTINO. We enjoyed The Poet, but the rest didn’t do a whole not for us. However, we had a fabulous experience and really enjoyed the gentleman who was giving us our tasting. He was so interesting to talk to, very knowledgable about his wines, and made the whole time extremely fun! TASTING: $30 Finally some lunch. I had the Asian Chicken Salad and Michael had their burger. Both were really good, but we both said it was a bit expensive for our taste! Right near all the wineries, it was $20 for a salad, but it was a very good salad!  From there we went to SILVER OAK. My dad gave us their 2014 Cab for Michael’s birthday this year and we really enjoyed it so it was exciting go there in person. Another top 5 as their wines are truly lovely, but their bottles are fairly expensive (around $100) so not a wine we would probably ever buy for ourselves. They are lovely, but not super practical for the two of us as we wouldn’t spend the money on ourselves when we can find something we equally enjoy for a much more reasonable price tag. In regards to their tasting, their pours were quite generous and we tasted some additional wines on the house! TASTING: $30Our final stop of the day was at MONDAVI. We did their pinot noir tasting and really enjoyed the first one. If you go, order a glass of that! It had a really great cherry essence. It was really fun to visit another big winery, but it was a tad too commercial for us. The grounds were GORGEOUS THOUGH.

We were too full from cheese and breadsticks and a 3pm lunch so we headed on over to Downtown Napa for a dinner of Ben and Jerry’s while we walked around. Not too shabby 🙂That’s a wrap of day 1! See you guys tomorrow for Day 2 of our Napa adventures!

SHIRT | SKIRT | SHOES (old, but almost identical here and here)

Fall Date Ideas Part 1

     

I think when people think of fall date ideas they often end up with pumpkins patches, corn mazes, and pumping carving, but then Halloween passes, the ideas run out, and we either skip to Christmas or go back to the same old dinner and a movie. This post is installment number one of a Fall date series I’m running on the blog until Thanksgiving, so grab your hubby, SO, or bestie and go have some fall themed fun!

Michael and I try to have a weekly date night and we have been epically failing at that lately. We really need a designated time to connect as a couple because distractions seem to seep into our couples time like laundry, working late, the Shiba antics….. We’re trying to make weekly date night a priority again and I love the fall so I’ve been trying to come up with some fun fall-esque dates. Whether we’re off to a restaurant with a seasonal menu, drinking a fall inspired cocktail, or drinking seasonal coffee’s, we’ve been trying to keep the fall vibes going strong!

We both totally have a thing for pumpkin spiced latte’s. We’re basic and highly aware. So Starbucks is usually one of our regular fall locations for a Holiday drink (half the pumps please!).

This week we left the pup for a few hours and headed over for a PSL and discovered that the Starbucks near us go SUPER fancy. WOWZA.

Apparently, 30 locations across the country have added a Reserve Bar to their stores and we totally lucked out by living 3 blocks from one. Never have I ever spent $30 on coffee and never will I ever stop ordering the vanilla ice cream with 2 shots of espresso. We are total coffee snobs and really only go to Sbux for holiday drinks, but we’ve been converted. The Starbucks Reserve Bar uses a higher grade of coffee beans than the rest of what is served in the store and you can really taste it. So 5 coffee’s later, I highly recommend taking yourself, your friend, or your significant other for a little treat at the Starbucks Reserve Bar. In my opinion, it is coffee meets mixology so it’s basically impossible not to like! Click here to see if there is one near you!

We tried:

Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cold Brew

Vanilla Ice Cream with Espresso

Microblend No. 21

Pumpkin Spiced Latte (Obvi)

Nitro Cascara Cloud

Let’s just say we stayed up extremely late on Wednesday night and would recommend getting at least a couple decaf coffee’s if you are planning on sharing 5 between the two or you.

Happy Fall to all! Now go get treat yo self to a seasonal drink with your love for your next date at your local sbux!

xoxo, B

 

The Best Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I tend to be a spring and summer girl because I love the heat. Yes, I just said that – thank goodness I live in Texas! There is nothing sweeter to me than the warmth of the sun on my skin and happiness that the sunlight brings. But, that being said, I am loving fall right now. After being in San Diego for about a year, we sort of lost out on the seasons and I never realized how much I love the change until now. And especially the change of summer to fall. I love the crisp mornings, cozy sweaters, crunching leaves, and warming up on the couch with a cup of tea. There’s also this smell about fall that makes me feel so, so happy. Speaking of smells, have you guys purchased this candle from TJ’s yet??With this change of seasons all I can think about is coffee and baked goods – anyone else? By the time 2pm rolls around I’m thinking about my next caffeine jolt and a yummy snack to warm up from fall strolls with Babette. I’ve been baking a TON and I am excited to share this recipe with you guys today. (also, this is my favorite picture ever below)It is no secret that I love all things banana bread. I usually bake at least one batch a week partially because it makes our home smell amazing and partially because I have a serious sweet tooth. I realized recently when I was baking a loaf for a gift that I don’t really have a go to recipe for all occasions. What I mean by that is that when I bake myself a banana bread I often make one like this one that is only sweetened with bananas. However, when I’m baking a treat for someone else, I like to add a little brown sugar and butter into the mix to make things extra yummy.

So I decided I needed a go to banana bread that meets my need for a healthy snack slathered in peanut butter as well a goodie yummy enough to bring as a housewarming prezzie. And so, about 8 batches later, this bread was born!

It has a little bit of butter and sugar to really give it some umph, but most of the sweetness comes entirely from the bananas. If you’re anti sugar, feel free to try it minus the brown sugar and let me know how it goes! I really like this bread because it is dense enough to slice up. I hate when breads crumble on me because they are too difficult to eat and I like to eat some banana bread toast one in a while! My favorite way to enjoy this is crisped up in the oven so that the outside has a little crunch and the inside is doughy and melty. And I realllllly liked it topped with melty nut butter on it – or some salted buttaaaaaa.

Babette likes it cold, warm, toasted, and buttered….I hope you enjoy this on a crisp fall morning with your family and a big mug of hot coffee. Cheers!DRESS | SHOES | JEWELRY (birdsong10 for discount)

The Best Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Baked Goods
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 3 large (or 4 medium) ripe bananas
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash banana, beat egg, and melt butter. Mix together with vanilla extract.
  3. Mix flour and baking soda in separate bowl.
  4. Stir brown sugar into wet mixture.
  5. Mix wet and dry ingredients.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips
  7. Grease bread pan with butter or oil of choice.
  8. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

100% Pure Foundation Review

Hi friends! I hope I am finding all of you well. Thank you so sooooooo much for all of your sweet DM’s while I’ve been on a little break from writing. For any of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, we have had some trouble with our new baby shiba, but a few procedures and a surgery later, she is doing so so much better.

For those of you who have had young puppies, I’m sure you can agree with me when I say it’s a good intro to having an infant. And having a sick little infant doubles the neediness. I’ve been doing my best to get some posts written up, but for a couple weeks she was in a lot of pain and really needed all of my attention while she healed.

So thank you for your understanding, patience, and kind words while this space has been on hold. I’ve missed all of you and am glad to be back to normal.

I have finally got a foundation review for you guys on some of the formulas I’ve tried from 100% Pure. I thought i had made it live before my little hiatus, but I accidentally left it in private mode. Oops. Anyhow, I know ordering foundation online is so hard so I hope this little review of their products I have tried so far will be helpful!

If you’re new to the blog, I’ve been on a mission to switch my beauty products over to a completely natural beauty routine. 100% Pure has become my go to brand due to their high quality performance products and the fact that they color and pigment all of their makeup with fruit. I can read every ingredient on the bottles of these products which is kind of unheard of.

Foundation is such a personal thing because of all the different factors. Skin type, finish, coloring, coverage, and the list goes on from there. Just to preface my review of each of these, here is a little bit about my skin and what I look for in a foundation.

I have very dry skin so I’m always looking for a more hydrating formula, but I don’t like foundation that feels thick on my skin. Generally, I go for a matte look over a more luminous vibe with my makeup because I like to keep things looking really natural and not like I have a ton of makeup on. My preference is always that a foundation is buildable because for the most part I want to wear a sheer layer, but if I have a special occasion, I want to be able to add more to create a more “made-up” look, if that makes sense. So for me, I was looking for a foundation that is hydrating, matte, and buildable.

I actually started out by chatting with a customer service rep on the 100% Pure site. I explained my skin type, sent a picture of myself to them, and then they made some recommendations for me. I just want to add that they have a full return policy as long as the return is made within 30 days. So basically, you can use a product for a few weeks to see how you like it and then return it for a full refund if it isn’t right for you.

So far, these are the 3 types I’ve tried below along with their fabulous mattifying primer. If you are into a more luminous look, they have a luminous primer on their site as well.

Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer – I purchased this product in the shade alpine rose for those of you trying to decide on the color you want. The feel of this products is so, so nice as it has a cooling sensation going on. This is definitely a more sheer coverage product, so if you aren’t looking for sheer, this isn’t for you. I love it for summer because it has SPF 15 in it! I knew this was a dewy finish formula going into my purchase, but I went for it because it was highly recommended for someone with dry skin. While I loved the hydration, it was just a little too dewy for me. I also wasn’t quite as long-lasting as I would want, however, I know there are people who swear by this foundation and then finish it off with the bamboo blur powder to matte it out a bit and keep things in place.

If you like: sheer coverage, dewy finish, high moisture, SPF, this product is for you.  PS: they use a natural sun protectant formula if you’re concerned about that!

BB Cream – I purchased this BB cream in the 10 Luminous Shade. Again, I knew this one would be more luminous, but went for it in hopes of moisturizing my dry skin. This goes on thick and gives really good coverage. It’s definitely buildable. It honestly wasn’t quite the right shade for my skin tone which is one of the reasons I wasn’t in love, but it also has a shimmery finish along with the dewy vibe. I know the whole luminous thing is super in right now, so if you’re a fan of that, I think you will really like this foundation. I LOVE that it has SPF however.

If you like: full coverage, a dewy/shimmery finish, SPF, and staying power, this is a good product for you. 

Bamboo Blur Tinted Moisturizer – This moisturizer is extremely buildable and definitely full coverage. It has a matte finish (which I love) and really looks like my skin. At first I didn’t like this foundation because it dries really fast and didn’t provide the moisture my skin needs. I figured out that if I apply my moisturizer, then primer, and then this foundation that it goes on really beautifully. I like to do it in two sections since the formula dries more quickly and is harder to blend in if you let it sit. The ONLY thing I don’t love about this foundation is the lack of SPF. This foundation has pretty good staying power, but if you’re wanting something that will really set well, I would recommend purchasing the bamboo blur powder to set your makeup look. The photo below was taken with this foundation on 🙂

If you like: medium to full coverage, a matte finish, no SPF, and pretty good staying power, this is a good foundation for you. 

A quick note that the bamboo blur is ideal for dry skin types as there is no oil in it. If you like a matte finish and have dry skin, follow the moisture routine above so that you can use this with the same result.

If you have dry skin and like a dewy finish, I would go with the fruit pigmented tinted moisturizer or the BB cream.

Happy Shopping!

xoxo, B